Australian flag carrier Qantas introduced a new commercial structure for travel agencies to promote adoption of New Distribution Capability-compatible connections, either through a global distribution system or another approved tech provider. Its pitch to agencies includes the threat of a $12.50 per-segment surcharge on GDS bookings and diminished content access but also a private channel-type framework as a path for agencies to avoid both.
BCD Travel early next year plans to pilot New Distribution Capability bookings with Lufthansa Group and two undisclosed non-global distribution system aggregators.
Amadeus during its third-quarter results presentation Wednesday acknowledged that moves by the three largest European airline groups to surcharge global distribution system bookings and drive bookings directly to their own channels are playing a role in disintermediating the GDSs. Yet, CEO Luis Maroto said he wasn't too worried about an acceleration in disintermediation.
Sabre reported strong bookings growth across its global distribution system business for the first three months of the year and expects the trend to continue through 2018. The GDS operator and travel IT company raised its full-year earnings, revenue and GDS booking volume forecast, lifted in part by what executives, during an earnings conference call, painted as a healthy travel industry backdrop.
A U.K.-based travel management company last week transacted a flight booking on Travelport's Smartpoint point-of-sale system in accordance with the International Air Transport Association’s New Distribution Capability standard. Travelport claimed to be the first major global distribution system to do so.
Total bookings processed via the Sabre global distribution system rose nearly 8 percent year over year during the third quarter to 140 million, the company reported Tuesday. Air bookings rose 8 percent to 123 million, while non-air bookings, including lodging and ground, rose 7 percent to 17 million.
At The Beat Live this month, EAB VP of business solutions Steven Mandelbaum sat down with his fellow corporate travel buyers for the annual Buyers' Table session. Anthem's Cindy Heston, FINRA's Carol McDowell, Evercore's Jason Ring and KBB Partners' Mira Rosenzweig joined for a lively discussion on travel management company relationships, exploring new booking technologies and testing the waters with startups.
BCD Travel revealed details of a new worldwide fee program to handle for clients airline bookings made outside global distribution systems. BCD joins other mega travel management companies: Carlson Wagonlit Travel broadly enacted a similar initiative last month, following American Express Global Business Travel's move in 2016 to institutionalize fees for bookings that don't conform to industry booking standards.
Airline bookings processed worldwide on the Amadeus global distribution system during the second quarter rose 3 percent year over year to 145 million. Airline bookings across all major GDSs rose nearly 5 percent, representing a rare year-over-year decline in market share for Amadeus.
As the only remaining defendant in a consumer-led lawsuit against the three major global distribution systems, Sabre has moved to settle out of court with each of the remaining plaintiffs.